Comparison between coefficient of R-R interval variation and gastric emptying in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients


Hideki Asakawa, Internal Medicine, Suita Municipal Hospital, 2-13-20, Katayama-Cho, Suita, Osaka 564-0082 Japan. Email:


Background:  Autonomic neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes mellitus (DM).

Method:  To clarify the relationship between cardiovascular autonomic function and gastric emptying rate, we investigated the gastric emptying and coefficient of R-R interval variation (CVRR) of 84 type 2 diabetic patients: 28 cases without peripheral neuropathy and 56 cases with peripheral neuropathy. All patients were subjected to a gastric emptying test according to the marker method (administration of a capsule containing 20 pieces of radiopaque marker during breakfast, followed by abdominal X-ray imaging 3 and 5 h later). Patients had their CVRR assessed at rest and during deep breathing.

Results:  Gastric emptying scores were significantly correlated with CVRR during deep breathing and with the duration of DM, but neither age nor CVRR at rest in all patients. Gastric emptying scores and CVRR at rest and during deep breathing in patients with peripheral neuropathy were significantly deteriorated than those in patients without peripheral neuropathy. A significant correlation between gastric emptying and CVRR during deep breathing could be observed in the patients with peripheral neuropathy, but not in those without it.

Conclusions:  These findings showed that CVRR during deep breathing might be a good indicator of diabetic gastropathy and that peripheral neuropathy was closely related with cardiac and gastric autonomic neuropathy in the type 2 diabetic patients.

© 2005 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd